By Raphael Irving
Astronomical clues could pinpoint the day Claude Monet painted «Impression, Soleil Levant (Impression, Sunrise),» the art piece that lent its name to the Impressionist art movement.
Based on the celestial detective work of Donald Olson, a Texas State University astronomer and physics professor, curators think they’ve identified the moment that Monet attempted to capture from his hotel room in the city of Le Havre, France: Nov. 13, 1872, 7:35 a.m.
Monet is celebrated today for his attention to the fleeting quality of light and color at a specific time and place. But there has been some confusion about what moment exactly Monet was trying to depict when he painted the vibrant orange sun and muted, the misty gray sky of «Impression, Soleil Levant.» Some even art historians have even contended that the painting depicts a sunset, not a sunrise.
Photo Caption for principal image:
By reconstructing the position of the sun, the condition of the tides and the view from Claude Monet’s hotel room, researchers were able to determine the time and day Monet painted his dreamy piece «Impression, Sunrise» in Le Havre, France.
Credit: Musée Marmottan Monet